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They Came to Cordura (1959)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, History | 1959 (UK)
An army major, himself guilty of cowardice, is asked to recommended soldiers for the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Mexican Border Incursion of 1916.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Major Thomas Thorn
...
Adelaide Geary
...
Sgt.John Chawk
...
Lt. William Fowler
...
Cpl. Milo Trubee
...
Pvt. Andrew Hetherington
...
Pvt. Renziehausen
...
Colonel Rogers
Carlos Romero ...
Arreaga
...
Capt. Paltz (as James Bannon)
...
Colonel DeRose
Maurice Jara ...
Mexican Federale
Sam Buffington ...
1st Correspondent
Arthur Hanson ...
2nd Correspondent
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Storyline

After a cavalry charge during the 1916 U.S. "war against Pancho Villa," unheroic awards officer Tom Thorn (who is obsessed with the nature of courage) recommends 4 men for the Medal of Honor. He is ordered back to Cordura with them...and prisoner Adelaide Geary, gringo who sheltered the enemy. On the arduous journey, Thorn's heroes show a different face, and Thorn may have one last chance to prove he's no coward. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Slashing Story of a Desert Warrior Who Fought His Way From HELL TO GLORY !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Héroes de barro  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Average Shot Length = 10 seconds. Median Shot Length = 10.4 seconds. See more »

Goofs

Major Thorn improperly salutes Colonel DeRose in the opening scene when he is dismissed. He should have saluted and held his salute until it was acknowledged. Instead, he lowers his arm even before Colonel Rose acknowledges it. See more »

Quotes

Cpl. Milo Trubee: [after getting a boil on his backside lanced] That didn't hurt a bit.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue:

On the night of March 8th, 1916, a large mounted force of Mexican rebels under Pancho Villa crossed the American Border and attacked the town of Columbus, New Mexico, killing and wounding both American civilians and soldiers.

As a result of this action,the United States Army sent an expedition into Mexico with orders to capture Villa and disperse his forces.

It was during this campaign that one man, an United States Army officer,was forced to come face to face with two of the great fundamental questions that affect mankind:

What Is Courage? What Is Cowardice?

This is the story of his search for an answer. See more »

Connections

Featured in Stars of the Silver Screen: Rita Hayworth (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cooper , Hayworth and a large support cast give good performances as a motley group lost in Mexico .
27 February 2012 | by See all my reviews

This particular Western deals with human conflicts about courage and cowardice . On March 8, 1916, Pancho Villa and his army crossed the border, destroying the city of Columbus, the state of New Mexico. The U.S. government in retaliation launches a punitive operation, which only meets resistance at the ranch called ¨Guerrero¨ . An army officer (Gary Cooper), himself guilty of cowardice, is asked to recommended soldiers (Van Heflin , Richard Conte , Dick York , Michael Callan, Tab Hunter ) for the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Mexican Border Incursion of 1916 . Meanwhile , they meet on the way a suspicious lady (Rita Hayworth) with dark secrets .

Coooper is pretty well as an Army major sent to find five men worthy of Medal of Honor and Rita Hayworth is attractive as a shady lady . Robert Rossen directed this unusual Western that explores human conflicts in an intelligent way as representative of this genre such as cowardice and bravery of the soldiers , but is paced with some flaws and gaps , including an unfairly adulterated final . A phrase of Rita Hayworth is developing the evolution of the movie : ¨The man who once was a coward not to say that it is all his life and the man who once was a brave does not mean that all his life living as such". Human conflicts designed by the screen-writers turn tiring , repetitive and somewhat artificial as well as the plot progresses . The search for the contrast between valor and cowardice and reflections on the protagonists results to be forced and unnatural , some discussions are inappropriate for its intended significance . Nice and emotive musical score by Elie Siegmaster with ordinary conductor Morris Stoloff . Colorful and evocative cinematography by magnificent cameraman Burnett Guffey and mostly filmed in Mexico where is set the action . The motion picture is professionally directed by Robert Rossen , though in ups and downs . Rossen was a prestigious writer and filmmaker , directing notorious actors and various successful titles of all kind genres as Noir film as ¨Body and soul¨ with John Garfield , ¨Johnny O'Clock¨ with Dick Powell ; Drama as ¨Mambo¨ with Silvana Mangano, ¨Brave Bulls¨ with Anthony Quinn, ¨Island in the sun¨ with James Mason , ¨Lilith¨ with Jean Seberg , Epic as ¨Alexander Magnus¨ with Richard Burton . His greatest hits were ¨The political¨ in which won Oscar for Broderick Crawford ¨and ¨The hustler¨ with Paul Newman .

The real events in which are based this film are the following : For a time Villa,who seemed in line for leadership of Mexico ,enjoyed the sympathetic interest of the US government who then dropped Villa and supported his rival,Carranza.Villa's resentment resulted in the vengeance raid on Columbus.Villa slapped the United States in the face by mounting a surprise raid on the town of Columbus,New Mexico,on 9 march 1916, killing eight American soldiers and ten civilians.In retaliation,President Woodrow Wilson sent General Pershing and a Punitive Expedition into Mexico in hot pursuit of Villa . General Pershing's column included the Seventh Cavalry and Apache scouts,chased Villa deep into Mexico,the Americans captured and killed several of Villa's lieutenants but failed to catch the guerrilla leader.Because of Mexican protests,Pershing's command returned to the US.Villa was assassinated in 1923 when gunman ambushed his car.


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